The Scottish Government will “move as quickly as possible” to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds if the UK’s vaccination body approves it, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced.
She told Holyrood her plans days after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the Pfizer jab was safe for use in younger people.
Ms Sturgeon said officials would look to vaccinate the age group if the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends it.
“It is vital that we rely on expert advice in all of our vaccination decisions,” she said during an update on covid at Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon.
“However, vaccination may well be an important way of giving children greater protection, minimising any further disruption to schooling, and further reducing community transmission of the virus.
“And so I can confirm that if the JCVI recommends the use of the vaccine for children aged 12 and over, we will move as quickly as possible to implement the advice.”
Situation is still fragile
However, answering questions from MSPs, Ms Sturgeon said she was unable to say what the timetable would be for teenagers or if it would be before the next school term.
The speed of any roll out depends on available vaccines, and only Pfizer has been recommended so far.
Ms Sturgeon said the situation in Scotland is still “fragile”.
Cases had risen by 50% in the past week in Scotland, but added that a double dose of the vaccine was having a positive effect on the number of people suffering serious illness.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “It’s very encouraging that younger people may soon be able to safely get the Covid vaccine.
“The vaccine is our main route out of restrictions and I hope, once the JCVI make their recommendations, we are able to make swift progress so that young people’s education is not disrupted any longer.”